House Sends Measure Killing Enterprise Florida, Cutting Visit Florida To Floor

Feb 21, 2017

Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast)
Credit Mark Foley via FL House website

The Florida House appears ready to take its incentives fight with Governor Rick Scott into the legislative session.

The 30-member House appropriations committee is advancing a measure eliminating Enterprise Florida and scaling back Visit Florida.  It’s the final stop before the House floor.  Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) says the measure gives the state’s tourism agency $25 million in exchange for new oversight provisions.

“And so we are putting visit Florida back where they started,” Renner explains, “with their historic funding, and with tight guardrails so they can continue to be successful, and do their good work without seeing some of the excesses and some of the problems that we’ve seen as the funding has increased.”

It’s about a third of what Governor Scott wants, but the original bill would have erased Visit Florida outright. 

The move sets the stage for a showdown.  The governor’s legacy is tied up in his record as a job creator, and he believes employment will take a hit if the House plan moves forward. 

He also holds the veto pen.